Tax “Reform” – Here We Go Again

September 30, 2017 By: El Jefe Category: Congress, Sumbitches

Bruce Bartlett, Reagan’s domestic policy advisor wrote a great piece in the Washington Post yesterday which ripped away the veil from Republican tax mythology.  That mythology has been peddled to Americans since Reagan and is dependent on successfully peddling the lie that taking in less money results in revenue going up.  The tax cutting myth is a myth because it’s a lie and has always been a lie.

Low taxes became an article of faith among Republicans started by Ronald Reagan who preached tax cuts as the cure-all for the nation’s ills.  Repubs have never seen a tax cut they didn’t like and live in a world where 2-1=3.  Reagan’s tax cuts probably dampened the recovery after the years of stagflation, the recovery from which was more affected by interest rate reductions made by the Fed.

GWB was also propelled to the WH in 2000 on a tax cutting platform, and his two tax cuts accelerated the downturn of 2007 into the Great Recession that brought our economy to it’s knees.

Once again, the Repubs, now in control of Congress and the WH, have come back to the tax cut trough, peddling their same BS of how cutting taxes makes revenue to up.  They’re also patently dishonest about taxes themselves, continuously lying that the US has the highest taxes in the developed world.  They always point to statutory tax rates which bear no actual resemblance tor effective tax rates actually paid.

Bartlett makes the point that taxes don’t drive business investment.  Tax cuts don’t make revenue go up; they drive revenues down.  It’s simple.  It’s math.  Which Republicans don’t understand.

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15 Comments to “Tax “Reform” – Here We Go Again”


  1. Jefe makes his point primarily about income tax revenues. snacilbupeR at lower levels attempt to use the same lie when campaigning for elected positions funded by property taxes. With regard to successive property tax rate cuts, “Tax cuts don’t make revenue go up; they drive revenues down.” … “It’s math.” And the moment an entity’s property values slide just a bit, math kicks these ignorant math-challenged elected officials in the … uhhh … gonads.

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  2. Tax cuts leading to economic gains is one of many Zombie Lies Repubs keep telling. It just wont die. There is no evidence that reducing taxes on the wealthy will lead to economic growth There is more evidence to the contrary. The latest is in Kansas where ‘Gov. Brownback bouget the lie and ruined the economy.

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  3. “Math and science are fake news.”

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  4. Numbers don’t lie. People just lie about numbers.

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  5. JAKvirginia says:

    If you can afford to bid $240,000 for a damn purse (and some rich bitch did), don’t even try to tell me your taxes are too high. Don’t even.

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  6. History. Bush41 became a one term president after James Carville fired up the Big Dog’s campaign with “it’s the economy, stupid.” Now here we go again with the snacilbupeR deficit hawks once again becoming Velcro raptors for the tired old Trickle Down. It didn’t work for Reagab. It can’t work. And it won’t work now. For a bunch of science deniers they sure are glommed onto Einstein’s Theory of Insanity.

    There’s a new “voice” coming from middle class snacilbupeR women to the effect that they’ll be content if thrown a crumb and are OK with the ‘earner’ .01% class keeping their money. Sorry forgot her name. Point is heading into 2018 the Democratic Party needs to be prepared to address that level of ignorance with a logic hammer. KISS – Keep It Simple Stupid, because dog knows math and English are at functionally illiterate levels among the snacilbupeR. Forget million dollar campaign ads. Run with the Robber Baron cartoons with basic two to four word messages.

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  7. Whizz down econ will make you feel good. The Russki’s have video of Trump’s prior ‘golden’ efforts at this.

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  8. A year or two ago I was horrified to learn that Grover Norquist (the “drown government in the bathtub” guy) is three weeks older than I am. In 1981 I was 24 years old and had pretty much no business handling anything that even vaguely required responsible independent judgment – much less be a tax guru in the White House. Then again, we’ve all long suspected that St. Ronnie of Santa Barbara simply had his best role for eight years.

    It now seems pretty clear that what the Reagan Revolution was really all about was installing useful idiots as the public R face, whose actual job consists of tossing out red meat to the base and giving cover to the guys behind the curtain so that they could amass actual power and money without all that bothersome attention. Our Current Occupant is just a loudmouth jackass version of the B list actor or America’s First MBA President (read as “middle manager who got the job because he’s a legacy frat rat”).

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  9. I’m pretty sure I’ve said this before, but just in case. There’s a reason that the party of low taxes and tiny government (except militarily) is the same party that insists America is a Christian nation. They need people to vote for facts not in evidence. Out of blind faith. So it’s a perfect fit. Appeal to folks who already believe whatever they’re told by authority figures, and most of the work is done. No need for pesky things like proof when faith is involved.

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  10. So, I guess Bartlett is at the age where he stared into the abyss of his own mortality, and the abyss stared back. I credit him with at least trying to atone, though he waited far too long.

    Arthur Laffer, OTOH, is still out there making the rounds. I saw him last month on one of the news shows, still peddling his economic fantasy snake oil. Very odd little man. But likable, which is the only reason anyone ever listened to him.

    And Mollusk, it’s true the Grover Norquist came to a position of influence very young. Because you know how old he was when he developed his great anti-taxation “theory”? 12. Twelve years old. Yup, the guy who’s bullied every Republican into voting against any tax increase for decades has been doing it with an idea that came to him as he was teetering on the brink of puberty. And while he does have Harvard degrees, they’re in Business, not Economics (Bachelor’s & MBA).

    So the entire Republican philosophy of taxation is pretty much just crap that they made up as they went along. But we’re the Moonbeams.

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  11. “Tax cuts at the top
    Doom for the rest of us.”

    How’s that for a pithy slogan? They can be fleshed out equally pithily on a billboard or campaign ad in 2018:

    “GOP tax cuts in 192? [Hoover]=Great Depression
    GOP tax cuts in 198? [Reagan]= recession.
    GOP tax cuts in 200? [GWB]=Great Recession
    GOP tax cuts in 2017 =recession building

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  12. My grad school econ professor was a member of the Presidents Council on Economics or whatever its called these days. To show us all just how bad tax reform could be here in this country, he used Romania as an example. At that time, Romania was run by Coucescou – and his wife. And it was a country being buried by its own economic and political rubble. Their biggest trade asset was pork. They exported damn near every pig alive or dead. There wasn’t anything of said pig, no matter how damn big, for anyone to eat. And personal reproductive choices for men and women were draconically outlawed which meant there were way more mouths to feed in a starving country day after day. We all know what happened to the Coucesous. Both of them were shot by a firing squad. My econ prof slipped from this mortal coil a long time ago. He got to miss what he predicted. In a way, good for him. Not so damn good for us.

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  13. oldymoldy says:

    Someone has been peddling it much longer than that. My grandfather was a rabid anti taxer thru the 50s and 60s that I know of, and likely much earlier. I still have many of his letters to my dad and uncle railing about the runaway tax situation. I’ve wondered about it for years but just realized that although he was rather middle class he had worked for many years for quite wealthy people and acquired what wealth he had from them. No doubt he also acquired their attitudes.
    I have no proof that he was exactly a McCarthyite, but his railings also included the impending commie takeover the world.

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  14. Max Kerpelman says:

    I’m single, retired, with a taxable income <30k. Last year, I had $10K in itemized deductions. Under the Repub plan, I would have had a $12K standard deduction, instead. That's a $2K tax break, right?

    Except the Repubs don't mention that they also want to eliminate my $4k personal exemption, so my taxable income would have gone up by $2K, and my tax rate by 2%. However, I'm sure that I'm one of the very few citizens who will pay more tax under the Repub plan /sn/.

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  15. Oh, honey, there are *lots* of tax cuts that the Republicans hate. Lots and lots of them.

    In particular, anything that leaves or puts money in a poor person’s or small corporation’s pocket.

    They’re very particular about their tax cuts — they only like tax cuts that cut taxes on the rich and/or high-income persons (and by person I specifically – of course — include corporations).

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